Your Story, Your Brochure

In a world of web sites, blogs and social media platforms, why bother having an old fashioned brochure? It’s all about telling your story.

Directing prospective customers to your web site or urging them to visit you on Facebook are a big part of today’s connect-first-then-sell marketing approach. But a brochure has a vital role to play as well, putting your message in their hands with the credibility and presence of a printed piece that supports your online communications and other advertising.

The beauty of brochures is that they can provide as much detail and imagery as you need. Charts and diagrams can be used to demonstrate product performance. Boxed areas can highlight service features. Bold headings can convey key messages. A brochure can be a canvas as informative or as colorful as the situation demands.

Whatever your objectives, following some rules of brochure storytelling can make your piece a persuasive page-turner.

Give Your Cover A Motivating Message
The first page your reader will see is the front cover. If it promises a relevant benefit or reward, he or she will be more likely to open the brochure and explore further. If the cover’s selling message is weak or nonexistent, it may be regarded as strictly junk mail … something to be thrown away. Use benefits-oriented or thought-provoking statements to hook the reader. Enticing potential air conditioner buyers with the message “Home Comfort Solutions For The Life You Live” is much more motivating than “Air Conditioning Systems For Residential Use.”

Break Up Long Blocks Of Text
Even larger brochures have limited space. Don’t fill it all up with dense blocks of copy that may be intimidating. Scrap long paragraphs for short ones with a high proportion of short sentences, and use bulleted or numbered lists to further separate the text. These elements will catch your readers’ eyes and help them zero in on what’s in it for them.

Keep Content In Synch With Your Goal
If you’re writing a brochure to generate leads, include confidence-boosting information about your company such as innovative products or professional credentials. If your brochure needs to be a sales closer, your customers probably already know enough about your company’s history. Cut to the chase and make your best pitch on why they need what you’re offering and how they’ll come out ahead by getting it only from you.

Use Testimonials
If possible, get quotes from satisfied customers to include in your brochure. Testimonials derive their power from the true-to-life validation of real people sharing favorable opinions and firsthand experiences. Because of their personal nature, these comments can make the most popular aspects of what you have to offer come alive in a way that jumps off the page. Using the actual words of existing customers will make a strong connection with potential customers.

Make It A Keeper
Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage people to keep it, refer to it often, or pass it on to others. If you’re selling catering services, you can provide menu ideas, event themes, and suggestions for creating memorable occasions. If you’re selling gym memberships, you can give tips on training and fitness along with your packages, prices and hours.

End The Brochure With Clear Instruction
After you’ve told your story in the most interesting and useful way possible, let your readers know exactly what you want them to do – whether it’s visit your showroom, go to your web site or call your office. If you don’t, they’ll have to work that much harder to take the next step. Frankly, most won’t, so finish your brochure strong with an obvious, easy-to-complete call to action.

Follow these storytelling steps for your next brochure and you won’t just engage your readers and open their eyes to what you have to offer. You’ll be much more likely to pull off the happiest ending of all: new leads and more sales!

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